Nearly 19,000 homes destroyed, damaged in Colorado flooding; more than 1,250 people unaccounted for

DENVER - Colorado emergency management officials have released an initial estimate that says the ongoing flooding has damaged or destroyed nearly 19,000 homes.

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management estimated Sunday on its website that 17,494 homes have been damaged and 1,502 destroyed.

In addition, 11,700 people have been evacuated and a total of 1,253 people are unaccounted for.

County officials have said that number fluctuates as stranded residents re-establish communication with family, friends or authorities.

The flooding is spread across parts of 15 counties, stretching almost 200 miles from north to south.

In Larimer County alone, the current impact area is estimated at 1,120 square miles. Another 760 are impacted in Boulder County and 385 in Jefferson County.

An estimated 35 bridges, 100 minor structures and 100 miles of road need repair in Boulder County. Emergency managers estimate $100-150 million in damage in that county.

Statewide, 26 shelters have taken in a population of 1,872 people. Nine counties and five cities have activated Emergency Operations Centers.

Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that 12 additional Colorado counties were added to the presidential emergency disaster declaration for the Colorado flooding in Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties. The additions are Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Fremont, Jefferson, Morgan, Logan, Pueblo, Washington and Weld counties.

The declaration authorizes the federal government to send urban search and rescue teams, air operations, food, water, cots, generators, and emergency flood control measures.

Saturday, President Barack Obama also declared a major disaster declaration specifically for Boulder County. That allows for federal assistance with temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners in their recovery.

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